Fellowship program

Fellowship program

Clemson University’s Institute of Translational
Genomics has been awarded a grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture
to recruit promising graduate student scholars. The project places special emphasis on attracting
candidates from underrepresented groups and protected classes, including blacks, Hispanics
and women. Whenever we talk about leaders in agriculture,
very few are from underrepresented groups in the United States. And so, when you think about the longevity,
how to attract people who are coming from underrepresented groups, if there is nobody
to look for as a leader or as an example, it makes it more difficult to try to see yourself
in that field. And so if we can use this fellowship program
as that opportunity to try to attract people that we are trying to encourage and help them
realize their leadership potential in computational genomics, a very scientific and scholarly
approach, then I think we’ll be able to attract and retain even more people from underrepresented
groups. In agriculture, we have on a global scale
a lot more diversity, because I think that in many cultures, agriculture is the very
first problem that people face. How are you going to feed people? How are you going to give them nutritious
food? How are you going to live from one week to
the next? In a lot of cultures, they have to think one
or two years, whereas in some places like the United States, we’re able to think 10-20
years ahead of time in terms of what we’re able to develop. And so, a lot of problems that people face
in agriculture are global. We have a great opportunity to try to tap
into that international spirit when we’re trying to recruit students from underrepresented
groups. Because I think that’s what makes people
connect with each other, when they know there are a lot of people trying to solve a big

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

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